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I'm more inclined towards ACCA and my plan is something like this (pls comment on it):

I'm in Pakistan, planning to do ACCA and attain the BSc degree from the Oxford Brookes University (ACCA students have to clear particular exams and do a project work to get the degree.) 

Once I'm through with all the ACCA papers and a degree, but before the mandatory three years job experience period for being an ACCA member, I would apply for a Masters Program in either UK, Canada or any viable university in a 'stable' country. 

After the degree, I could try and avail the post graduation work permit and might settle for long term. How feasible is the plan?


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19th Dec 2012 15:36

Work plan

So when are you intending to do some practical accountancy work for an employer?

Believe me, if you wait until you have completed all your exams and masters degree you will be over-qualified for many employers in the UK.

It is much better if your practical experience and qualifications progress in parallel, something that many overseas students seem unable to grasp. It has been that way for as long as I remember.

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By Old Greying Accountant
19th Dec 2012 16:56

ACCA is ...

... specifically designed to be studied alongside work experience as Andy outlines, back in my day I worked nine to five thirty and studied 7 to 10 at night school twice a week (and at home the other days)

There were graduates there too who just held everyone else up as they had no clue as to the application of the knowledge they had learned.

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19th Dec 2012 17:24

Definitely agree with the above two comments...

... Try to combine your ACCA study with a job, prefereably one which would lead towards a role in accountancy - this is by far the best option, for the reasons outlined in the above comments!

Employers prefer people with practical knowledge and experience, not just qualifications.  Even if you were to go into a job after doing a Masters, it is likely that you would still be starting at an entry level due to a lack of work experience - so it's best to build some experience up while your studying. After you qualify, your work experience will give you the edge over others.

A lot of accountancy firms sponsor students to study ACCA which would allow you to gain that valuable experience alongside studying.  You may have to eventually do the degree part time although it is possible that an employer could sponsor this as well.

Good luck with your plan!

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19th Dec 2012 17:36

Original question - ACCA or CIMA!

Regarding your original question as to whether you should choose ACCA or CIMA.....

It really depends on what route you want to go down: whether you want to go down the management accounts sort of route - CIMA would be more suitable for this; or whether you want to go into practice (incl. audit, tax, etc) in which case ACCA would be more suitable.  If you want to go into industry I think ACCA would be better, but CIMA is still a good option anyway.

There are lots of different kinds of careers in accountancy so it all depends on what you want to do really - what path do you want to go down?! 

Adding to my previous comment - if you do get a job, then your employer may help you decide (or decide for you) on what course is most suitable.

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19th Dec 2012 17:51

Missing the point ?

I think that the OP wants to use ACCA/CIMA as a vehicle for gaining a degree (by correspondence course) from which they will be eligible to apply to study for a masters degree outside of their country.

Then, based on their masters degree they will be eligible to apply for a visa.

Finally, they will then worry about getting a job !


It is possible to study ACCA/CIMA, do a dissertation and get a first degree from the likes of Oxford Brookes University. Then if you pay another £2k or so you can submit another (same ?) dissertation and be awarded a masters degree by the likes of Manchester Metropolitan University.

Basically, you can pretty much get a couple of degrees out of your membership - if you are willing to pay the fees.


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20th Dec 2012 09:17

Thanks B R

"Then, based on their masters degree they will be eligible to apply for a visa.

Finally, they will then worry about getting a job !" 

Yes i was one who missed the above point oops!  x)

Really interesting that you can get essentially 2x degrees from ACCA :)

"post graduation work permit" - Is this available for master's degree graduates only then??

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20th Dec 2012 10:04


This raises an interesting question, in line with the earlier responses.

It is possible for a 16 year old to leave school and become AAT qualified, ACCA or CIMA qualified with a Degree, plus a Masters Degree by the time that their class mates have graduated 5 years later (at considerably less cost than going down the traditional A level and then 3 year degree route) .

Would it be easier for such a student to gain employment in accountancy compared to a traditional graduate - bearing in mind that the employer would not have to pay any professional training costs as they will already be passed finalists?



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By Old Greying Accountant
20th Dec 2012 17:32

But ...

... you get a well paper qualified employee who is as much use as a chocolate teapot. I've yet to meet a degree qualified ACCA who is of the remotest practical use in a small practice. 

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20th Dec 2012 18:08

All qualifications and no substance

As a partner in a small practice I can confirm that when we look at CV's it is experience that matters, i.e. can the candidate do the job.  Candidates that are highly qualified but with little experience will lose out every time and often the more qualifications they have, the more off putting it is.  The impression it creates is someone who will come in, think they know everything but know nothing and expecting a management position with a big salary.  It seems that nobody is interested anymore in starting off as the office junior and working their way up.

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25th Apr 2013 20:00

If you know you have to teach this material, then there is high motivation to really master the material yourself. The internal pressure of belonging to a study group the whole year will keep you on track in a way that you might not be able to if left to your own devices.

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